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Dirk Koetter on Todd Gurley: Challenge is how to best utilize his talent 

The Atlanta Falcons made a splash in free agency when they signed running back Todd Gurley to a one-year deal worth a reported $5.5 million.

Gurley, 25, was released by the Los Angeles Rams after five seasons in which he amassed 5,404 rushing yards and 58 touchdowns on the ground and caught 218 passes for 2,090 yards and 12 touchdowns.


After limited snaps in 2019, questions regarding Gurley's health started to arise. Prior to last season, a report surfaced stating that Gurley has arthritis in his knee. Gurley tore his ACL in his final season at the University of Georgia before being drafted as the No. 10 overall pick in the 2015 NFL Draft.

Falcons offensive coordinator Dirk Koetter was asked several questions about his plans for Gurley in Atlanta's offense when he met (virtually) with the local media on Thursday.

"He can do everything," Koetter said. "He's an excellent runner, he's good in the pass game [and] he can protect. The main question no one seems to know is, 'What's his health status? What is his workload?'"

Koetter said Gurley averaged "about 17 touches" a game last season. Gurley played in 15 games in 2019 and rushed for 857 yards on 223 carries, down 33 carries from the 2018 season.

Coach Dan Quinn and Koetter won't be able to get a gauge on Gurley's workload and comfort level until they can see him practice in person and when that will be remains uncertain at the moment. Regardless of how many snaps he will see in the upcoming season, both Koetter and Gurley are confident in his ability to make plays for the Falcons.

"We've seen what he can do, his accolades speak for themselves," Koetter said. "We just have to see how healthy he is and how consistently he can do it. He can still do it, it's just a matter of how often can he do it?"

The Falcons are hoping Gurley provides the spark the Falcons need in the run game after finishing 30th in the league with an average of 89.1 yards per game.

Quinn and Falcons general manager Thomas Dimitroff opted not to draft a running back showing their confidence in Brian Hill, Ito Smith and Qadree Ollison to help carry the load with Gurley.

"We definitely need to run the ball better than we did last year," Koetter said.

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